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Medical Council hosts Meeting of European Network of Medical Competent Authorities

This week the Medical Council hosted the 9th meeting of the European Network of Medical Competent Authorities (ENMCA), to coincide with the Irish EU Presidency. The meeting saw representatives from fifteen European countries come together to discuss key challenges for Medical Competent Authorities in light of the proposed changes to the EU Professional Qualifications Directive, which allows for freedom of movement of professions.

During the first session, attendees from each of the European states considered four main priorities in relation to the review of the Directive, which had been identified at the previous ENMCA meeting in Cyprus. The items discussed included:

  1. The introduction of a professional card for doctors
  2. More opportunity for competent authorities to assess the language skills of a doctor prior to granting registration
  3. The creation of an alert mechanism which would allow competent authorities to share information regarding a doctor’s fitness to practise record
  4. The introduction of a common competence framework, whereby registered doctors will be required to prove that they are actively engaged in professional competence.

At the subsequent session, Caroline Hager, of the European Commission presented research supported by the Commission, which aims to assess, forecast and plan the needs of healthcare workforces across 34 European Countries (including Ireland).

The penultimate session of the meeting centred on the topic of Continuous Professional Development (CPD). This session emphasised how differently CPD is approached across the competent authorities throughout Europe. For example, in countries such as Ireland, Germany, France and the UK engagement in CPD is compulsory, whereas in several others, CPD can be undertakenvoluntarily. A presentation by Tina Šapec, of the Medical Chamber of Slovenia, demonstrated their commitment to improving the knowledge Slovenian doctors through Continuous Medical Education. Dr Paul Kavanagh, of the Medical Council, presented findings from research conducted with members of the Irish public, which confirmed that doctors remain a very highly trusted profession in Ireland.

All of these items will be considered further at the next ENMCA meeting, which will take place in Denmark at a later date.

Additional Information

View ENMCA position paper on proposed amendments to the Directive